By next year, our Society will reach its 70th anniversary, an important milestone in our history. Our founders recognized the importance of joining together to foster the development of this new technology, the culture of cells. In contrast to today, their tools were very limited. There were no culture media designed for culturing cells, inadequate culture vessels, and no prior experience to build upon. Some of the initial cell cultures relied of fibrin clots for attachment and growth. Individuals within our Society began working on various culture media and developing glass culture vessels. Our ultimate success has depended upon their persistence and ingenuity. Some of the leaders in this effort included, Harry Eagle, who developed Eagles Minimal Essential Media (EMEM), Joseph Leighton, who developed a culture vessel using a modified glass tube which included a flat growth surface – the Leighton Tube, Richard Hamm, who’s culture media allowed us to culture epithelial cells on a routine basis and minimized the requirement for the use of serum, the MCDB line of culture media, and the many scientists who have followed their lead. Over the years, our Society has broadened its scope to include the culture of cells from a broad variety of plants and animals. Our society continues to be the premier society for the establishment, culturing, and use of cultured cells from all species.
The technology has continued to evolve. Our basic focus, facilitating the development and application of cell cultures to allow a better understanding of the biology of various species, has benefited greatly from this evolution. The success of our members and others in this field have made it possible for us to culture cells with a minimal effort and have convinced many of the scientists from other fields that routine cell culture can be done with little or no training. This misconception on the requirements of the culturing process, has contributed to the lack of data reproducibility, perpetuation of misinformation, and substantial waste of our resources. As a Society, we must remember our important role in the education of our scientific colleagues and the public, as to the importance of what we do and how we do it.
I encourage each of you to reach out to your fellow colleagues and invite them to join us at the upcoming 2016 World Congress in San Diego, to present their research, to network with our members, and to join the Society. I also encourage you to submit your research findings for this international meeting. The Program is shaping up very well. We are honored to have our Keynote Address presented by Dr. William E. Moerner, Nobel Prize Winner in Chemistry (2014). Again, I encourage you to not only attend, but to spread the word about the exciting venue and our first-rate scientific program. The advantages of attending the Society’s meetings include the opportunities to network with peers, build professional relationships with scientific colleagues, facilitate individual professional development by participating in the Society, and above all, learn of the advancements in the field from leading experts.
Our Society has established various funds and mechanisms for supporting its mission. I ask that you consider contributing to one or more of these funds. Your support is critical to the society’s continued success in developing quality programs, encouraging student participation, and society activities to attract new members and potential members. I also encourage you to participate in the Member-Get-a-Member Campaign. By increasing membership, we can help to ensure our Society’s continued long-term survival and growth.
I look forward to seeing each of you in San Diego!